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Thanksgiving #3

I first met taldragon at American Thanksgiving at sioneva's, back when she lived in Manchester. We've often had them together since; and I might not have bothered this year if she hadn't mentioned it, so all credit to her for the impulse which made it happen.

My first thoughts were of a day of advanced preparations in which there was plenty of time for work alongside the cooking. Part of the labor-saving was in not cooking a turkey. In the end, however, the cooking ate the entire day.

On Thursday, in Canterbury, I bought the Crown Prince squash for the tart, a large, hefty pale green one which the vendor assured me was tastier than pumpkin. He also sold me the fennel bulbs. I lugged them around town, and the hours back to home.

On Saturday, we returned several times to different grocery stores. For the last trip, C. went back just to buy plain sugar. We had caster sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar - but not enough plain sugar. I didn't have the heart to go out again when I realized we only had wholegrain, mill-ground flour - and so I made white sauce with brown flour, not realizing the humor of it until lazyknight pointed it out. We used the squash tart recipe my sister once sent me, and the cranberry sauce recipe my mother had demonstrated on Monday.

And so we ate. Roast duck legs, roast fennel, squash and cheese tart, green bean casserole (with "white sauce"), stuffing with celery and chesnuts, cranberry sauce, wild rice salad, orange-ginger-cream sauce. We paused for an hour's recovery before pushing on to a decadence of gingerbread trifle, rich with smooth, full-bodied cream and mulled wine-softened fruit, dappled with crunchy chocolate-coated toppings - not just decorative - thanks to rosamicula's culinary genius. Fruit salad. Amaretti. Galler's "Volcaniques" chocolate range, with delicate touches of pepper or chilli or smokey Lapsang Souchong.

The worst of the rain rumbled down while we ate. Friends tested out our still-new sofa. The wood-burning stove warmed the entire house for perhaps the first time. ewtikins let us keep the quince bucket, due to now having a surfeit of buckets herself and brought us sloe jelly. Today, I had trifle for breakfast.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)
it was a lovely evening, and may i get the recipes for the tart, the green beans and the trifle - pretty please? :)

Edited at 2009-11-30 10:32 am (UTC)
Nov. 30th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC)
The tart is from Epicurious:
I used cheddar instead of fontina, and a different kind of squash, plus wholemeal-flour pastry (due to lack of all-purpose flour). Also, I doubled the recipe (in part so there would be plenty, and in part because I broke the pie dish a few months ago and had to make do with the larger casserole dish for it).

The green bean casserole was a lot of green beans with Béchamel sauce made with wholemeal flour (although in the end it wasn't thickening, so we thickened with corn flour which is probably what we should have used instead from the start instead). Topped with bread crumbs fried in butter to brown nicely, baked for about 25 min at 190 or 200. The Béchamel recipe recommended a cup of sauce to every two cups of solids, and that's what I approximated. (8 cups of green beans, four cups of sauce).

The trifle is up to rosamicula to volunteer.
Nov. 30th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
thank you! now to harass M... :)
Dec. 1st, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
That sounds like an amaaazing menu. I'm glad you were able to make the substitutions work.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
That sounds WAY better than our third Thanksgiving. Sounds like a splendid feast. I'm glad that you got to use the wild rice this time.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )